From Postbox to Inbox: USPS Informed Delivery®

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Did you check your mailbox today? How about your email? Are you sick of the mail guessing game? Is an expected payment for services on the way? When is your signature-required envelope arriving?  Informed Delivery® can help answer these questions.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) launched their Informed Delivery service in 2014. Informed Delivery allows users to preview their incoming mail and keep track of their packages, all in one place. These updates can also be communicated via email, should the user choose to opt in.

Personalized Daily Digest

So, what exactly does a preview entail? The thought of your private mail being sent through email is not at all appealing.  Luckily, USPS considered this hesitation in designing Informed Delivery and settled on a black and white scan of the address side of the envelope. This provides an indication of contents without flaunting any confidential information that you wouldn’t want exposed in your email, so it’s not a threat to cybersecurity. The cybersecurity aspect is understandably a high priority for businesses using Informed Delivery, as their mail may contain their customer’s personal information, not just their own. But rest-assured, the preview provided is not a privacy issue.

Your sneak peek can be viewed in a Daily Digest email or on your Informed Delivery dashboard. The dashboard is accessible via the USPS website or USPS mobile app. The Daily Digest email hits your inbox before 9 AM – perfect timing to pair with your morning coffee. With just a click and a scroll you can see what’s coming down the pipeline for the day.

Informed Delivery also provides updates on the whereabouts of your packages. Although you’re not provided with a scan of each package you’re expecting daily, Informed Delivery does offer the dimensions of incoming packages as well as the return address. With that information, you often know what’ll be arriving. You can also nickname your packages to help keep track of them on your dashboard and sort them into their respective departments.

Eligibility Rundown

Informed Delivery was primarily offered for residential and P.O. box addresses. Recently it has begun to expand its reach to businesses as well, a reach that will only continue to grow. The pool of eligible businesses and residential addresses is being constantly updated. So, if your address is not eligible for informed delivery yet, don’t lose hope. There’s no algorithm for how new addresses are added, nor any sort of waiting list mechanism. Instead, simply continue to routinely check if your address is eligible for Informed Delivery.

Past, Present, & Future Assistance

Informed Delivery is the key to troubleshooting missing mail. If you preview a piece of mail in your Daily Digest email and it doesn’t arrive, you know the problem didn’t originate from the sender, since USPS scanned it in. Therefore, there must have been an issue in the second half of the journey. This knowledge can save you a lot of time complaining on the phone. Additionally, Informed Delivery keeps a history of the mail that they notify you of. This eliminates debate over the status of expected mail, particularly helpful in a workplace environment where such issues arise more frequently.

Utilizing Informed Delivery to its maximum potential also allows you to plan for the future. If you see an important piece of mail while browsing your Daily Digest email, you can set up a notification for when it’s delivered, be notified of any complications, etc. This option is regularly available for packages in today’s day and age – typically all vendors have a package tracking service. But with Informed Delivery, you can receive notifications for flat mail as well. This is a game-changer when you’re expecting mail that requires a signature, as you can alert the mailroom or receptionist when it’s anticipated to arrive.

Informed Delivery as Digital Marketing

Informed Delivery can act as a digital marketing tool for business. Companies can send out interactive marketing campaigns consisting of an image and a URL, directing B2B customers or consumers to a site of their choosing. This sort of campaign will stand out in Daily Digest emails as the only colorful item – all other mail is displayed in black and white.  Companies can schedule the physical arrival of the marketing piece alongside the Daily Digest digital version in a way that maximizes engagement. Throughout the campaign, the company has access to data such as email open rates and click-through rates, allowing it to monitor and evaluate effectiveness. This digitization is an integral aspect of advertising.  While a tangible piece of mail can certainly have an impact, the combination of a physical delivery and an electronic version leaves the maximum effect on consumers.

Last but definitely not least…

Informed Delivery is completely free service for USPS customers.

Lisa Coppola

Written by Lisa Coppola

Founder of The Coppola Firm

Lisa A. Coppola, Esq. understands the challenges her clients face, whether they’re starting a new business, taking their existing operations in a new direction, or facing a claim or threat.

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